5A girls' basketball: Layton rips past Granger
Taylorsville • It must have felt a little like dÃ©jÃ vu.
When the Lancers of Granger and the Lancers of Layton opened the season against each other in November, Layton used a 23-2 first-quarter advantage to put away its opponent.
Fast forward to Monday and the first round of the Class 5A girls' state basketball tournament. Once again the northern Lancers built a massive first-quarter lead 20-4 this time and never looked back.
Layton guard Maddi Smith led the way for her Lancers in a 56-30 victory. The junior torched Granger from inside and out, finishing with a career-high 23 points to lead all scorers.
Smith was dealing with illness for part of the season, which contributed to the Lancers stumbling and losing first place in their region.
"She's getting it back now," Layton coach Van Price said. "She's getting back to where she wants to be."
Defensively, Layton smothered Granger with full-court pressure that created plenty of turnovers and easy baskets. Layton kept Granger scoreless after halftime until the last 90 seconds of the third quarter, when Lile Havili put back an offensive rebound for two points.
Price was worried about Havili coming into Monday's matchup. The center did not play in the teams' first meeting this season.
"We were a little worried ... because she's a quality Division I type player," Price said.
The coach used an undersized player to front Havili, which turned out to be an effective move. Still, Havili was Granger's only consistent option Monday. She finished with 14 points in the losing effort.
Layton next plays an Alta team that needed overtime to beat Pleasant Grove.
"They've played Alta before," Price said about his players, "and they know that's an intense game. I don't think they'll have any trouble getting up for that."